Monday, July 26, 2004
I have been immersed in music and magick and all sorts of reading, but not much updating on my journal. I am fast becoming MIA like mentalfuse. I will do my best to write more frequently, but when I get on a track like finding out the real story of a woman who lived and died before I was born and where the biggest Teflon pan in the country can be seen, you can see my dilemma.
I subscribe to a lot of literary magazines and sometimes I can't quite understand why those stories are published rather than some of the stories I submit. It isn't that I don't get some sort of recognition, but I'm getting really tired of long personal rejections. I'd almost rather have an impersonal form rejection because it feels like get an F+ or an A-. It's a mixed message. Almost a D and not quite an A or a B. Personally, I'd rather see concrete, no nonsense grades and responses. I know editors don't have a lot of time and need to streamline their correspondence, but if an editor takes the time to type out a three-page letter, either consider personal correspondence or tell me simply what is wrong and I'll fix it. Something to work on when I am inundated with submissions and queries for my own magazine.
Did it ever occur to anyone, other than me, that Madonna did a good job of portraying Eva Peron in Evita? Of course, it could just be that I love the music and the songs. I have a thing for Andrew Lloyd Webber and I don't care if that makes my tastes pedestrian, but I can see how I would choreograph the musical numbers and the stage placements. Some of my past coming up to bite me in the butt. There was a time when I seriously considered acting, before pregnancy and the decline of my physical form into a breeding cow instead of a strong, curvy, corn fed female. Ah, well, life holds many surprises. I danced in several plays, The Music Man among them, and acted several leading roles before an unplanned and completely surprising pregnancy played havoc with my body and my life. I wanted to write screenplays and plays and indeed even rewrote the second act of A Christmas Carol (the musical version of Dickens' story) when I was in junior high school. I've played several pretty interesting roles, all of which came rushing back at me when I was at the checkout counter of the grocery store this afternoon.
I passed a bin of DVDs sale priced at $4.99. I didn't expect to find anything good, and mostly I was right. I did manage to find one gem, Our Town with a very young and innocent looking William Holden and a fresh-faced Martha Scott, who starred opposite Charlton Heston in Ben-Hur as his mother. I played Emily in Our Town in high school and some of the motifs and themes remain with me today. I had to watch the DVD as soon as I got home, but had to respond to the two calls I noticed on my Caller ID from Beanie earlier today. She's taking an English class in college and I'm helping her with a How-To essay.
Needless to say, my dark chocolate chunk ice cream was melting and I hiccuped my way thru some fried chicken livers while she read what she had written so I could give her my editorial opinion. I was a bit vague and confusing, but my mind was on other things at the time: melting ice cream and my new movie.
When I finally got to see the movie (having pushed OK on the remote several times to keep from having to watch the animated DVD egg bouncing all over the screen), I was greeted with fresh visions. I forgot how young and eager William Holden looked or that Emily didn't die in the movie as she did in the play. I remember dying in the play and sitting in the graveyard near Mother Gibb and Mrs. Soames who enjoyed my wedding to George Gibb. I don't remember having a choice to fight back the specter of death and come to with a new baby in my arms and George looking thru the door to make sure all was well. Still, it is one of my favorite plays and now I can watch it whenever I need a fresh perspective or just a walk down memory lane.
What does this have to do with writing? Everything and nothing. The whole thing is a mental train that keeps stopping at every little station along the way. Literary stories have some deeper meaning and I thought of a family going on vacation with a daughter in college who just graduated, guilted into the trip by one last family trip together, and having to go see the biggest Teflon pan in the country. The thought occurred that the manufacturer gets more out of each little tourist who stops to see this technological marvel than if they had taken the same amount of material and made a lot of smaller frying pans. You can sell a normal sized frying pan once, but you can sell the country's biggest Teflon frying pan forever. It isn't good for anything but giving something for people to stop and gawp at when they're on pointless family vacations just so they can be together for a few days or a couple weeks. More mileage for the manufacturer and a family's relationship with growing children. Makes sense to me, but I wonder if it will make sense to an editor with money they need to part with.
Oh, well, I have run on long enough and it is time. I'll shut up now.
That is all. Nothing to see here. Disperse.